Bushwhack Knitting: Yarn Chicken & Stash

Bushwhack Knitting 2 I’m quite certain my stash never achieved SABLE.  (I’m also careful to say this where my daughters will never find out.)

But a while back I did make a commitment to myself to not buy anymore yarn until I used up a lot of my stash.  I realize that’s a very un-SMART goal, but I am making progress on it.

I have some external factors helping me out.  I’m going to sell my house this spring.  It’s motivating me to get rid of all kinds of stuff.  I’ve even given away some yarn.

But I bought all that yarn because I wanted to knit with it, so I’m making an effort.  This is my latest.

Buying Without a Pattern

I loved the colorway of this yarn, so I bought it even though it’s a mostly acrylic yarn with just a token amount of wool in it.  I think of the color as “sand and surf.”  I’ve lost the labels, so I don’t know what the real name is.  I think it was made by Moda Dea?

When I first bought the yarn, I went through the balls and cut out most of the sections of the lightest, creamy sea green for a different project.  In  other words, I had no idea how much yardage I had to work with when I started this latest off-the-trails project.  I’m pretty sure I broke my 1500 yards rule, too.  Oops.

But I was sure I had enough to make a small, hardly-bigger-than-a-dickey, poncho.

Right now, I’m sure I was right about that, but after knitting for several inches, I realized that I had cast on way too many stitches for the poncho I had planned, unless I turned it 90 degrees from my intended orientation.

Here’s the other problem.  I hate stripes.  As you can see, this is pretty strongly striped.  Even though I do like the colorway, I decided against wearing it.

No problem.  I was sure I had enough to make a small lapghan, aka crib-sized blanket.  I live in New England.  We always need blankets.   (I’m writing this in the middle of a blizzard, with the strong possibility of power outages looming in a few hours.  More blankets are good.)

But the thing about bushwhack knitting is you never end up with quite what you expected.  At least, I don’t end up with quite the proportions I would like.  This blanket is turning out smaller than I hoped.

I’m almost out of yarn, down to my last ball – however much is left in it.

Where have all my sweatshirts gone?

It’s been a pretty chilly winter in my house.  Somehow, I’ve run out of sweatshirts.  I never had a lot of sweaters, but I seem to have accidentally felted or otherwise destroyed the ones I did have.  This was my reason for planning on a small poncho to begin with.

But I’ve had another thought…maybe it would make a nice shrug?

That way, I wouldn’t see the stripes while I was wearing it. Because of the way shrugs are constructed, they’re almost entirely on the back of the wearer.

When I first heard of shrugs, I thought they were a pretty stupid design.  Then I wore one.  It turns out they’re pretty comfortable and easy to wear.

I’d never describe them as stylish.  They lack the elegance of a shawl, but they’re almost exclusively  on your back, so you don’t see that much of them.  They’re also easier to wear than a shawl, a major plus.

And, the last shrug I made had a pretty deep edge treatment, which could make up for not quite having enough yarn, which is my current situation.

Yarn Chicken

Yes, I’m playing yarn chicken.  I’m hoping and praying that my yarn will last long enough to get me to a minimum size for a shrug.

A shrug construction is kind of unusual.   Most articles of clothing are made out of tubes; tubes for arms, tubes for legs, and bigger tubes for the torso.  A shrug isn’t a tube.

A shrug is a rectangle, roughly 30″ x 40″, I think, folded over with the short sides partially sewn together.  It’s like a weird cross between a poncho and a shawl.

According to my phone, this piece is about 27″ by 30,” not quite big enough for a shrug.  Maybe.  No, there’s not a whole lot of yarn left, but since I’m knitting on size 15 needles, the fabric is loose and stretchy, so I’m going to knit until I can’t knit anymore and then pin it together and try it on.  I don’t think the measurements are going to be a good indicator of fit for this piece.

Time for a Backup Plan

Maybe I could add on strips of knitting in a complementary dark blue  to lengthen the rectangle to the needed dimensions.  I might have something in my stash that would work.

If I have enough of it, I might be able to do a deep edge treatment on the rectangle, too.

That would  get rid of some more of my stash.

Win, win!

Wish me luck!

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